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Many young sports stars dream of theday when they sign a high-paying contract as a profe sional athlete. For many

  • Your favorite player got a big-money deal, but it might ruin the team

    Your favorite player got a big-money deal, but it might ruin the team

    Many young sports stars dream of theday when they sign a high-paying contract as a profe sional athlete. For many, this means becoming an instant millionaire. In reality, there havebeen numerous hours of hard work and dedication succe s doesn't come easy or in an instant.The big-money deal is a life-changing development. It provides an opportunity to live a lifestyle previously unknown, and to po sibly share that windfall with family and friends. Inmany cases, when athletes join the pro ranksthey join a group of other highly paid athletes. In some cases, however, athletes who signbig contracts beginto stand out. Afterenjoying high-profile succe s, they receive contracts that gofar beyond those of their teammates.MORE: Iconic jerseys for each pro sports city | Ranking the Sweet 16 teamsWhile this is perceived to be good for the athlete (and po sibly teammates when it comes time to renegotiate theircontracts),what is often overlooked is the impact a large salary can have on the athlete and the rest of the team. For many athletes, a large salary puts a brighterspotlight on them. They receive more media attention,which often leads to higher expectations from others and themselves.Several high-profile baseball free agents will be under a bright spotlight this season after signing big deals. David Price, Zach Greinke, Jason Heyward, Chris Davis, Justin Upton, Johnny Cueto https://www.whitesoxedge.com/chicago-white-sox/bobby-jenks-jersey and Jordan Zimmermann all signed for more than $100 million. They will face pre sure to perform for their new teams, or, in the case of Davis,after re-signing with hiscurrent team.The spotlight also will shine brightly this fall on NFL quarterback Brock Osweiler, who signed a $72 million contract with the Texans, as well asdefensive end Olivier Vernon, who signed for $85 million with the Giants, and other NFL stars who signed megadeals.While some athletes revel in this challenge, some respond to their new situation by either becoming complacent or succumbing to the pre sure of having to be worth the higher salary. After signing the big contract, some athletes believe they have finally been paid for all of their hard work and sacrifice; therefore, they feel an internal sense of accomplishment, which can often lead to changing their behaviors that led themto be succe sful in the first place.When this occurs, we see athletes' production decrease and sometimes their attitude toward sports changes. One study found that it is not unusual for a pro athlete who signs a new, biggercontract to experience a two-year post-contract performance crash.MORE: 11 MLB clubhouse controversies | NFL free agency winners andlosersFor those of us who are not profe sional athletes, the athlete's situation is similar to winning millions in the lottery. While many https://www.whitesoxedge.com/chicago-white-sox/tim-anderson-jersey of us would like to know what that experience would be like, it would be difficult fora lottery winner not to change his or herattitude toward work and lifestyle. If you won enough money nece sary to live the rest of your life but stillremainon the job, would you work as hard, give the same effort? Would the job be as meaningful to you? While athletes' situations aren't exactly the same, many who "hit the jackpot"experience similar thoughts.Another i sue that often arises is how the salary of anathleteaffects the rest of the team. One study of pay inequity inMajor League Baseballfound that perceived pay inequities among athletes actually hurt the team'sperformance. In some cases, teammates become jealous and/or feel they should be making as much money as the star. If this belief is widespread, team cohesion can be severelyimpacted.Team cohesion comes in two forms: social and task.Social cohesion refers to liking and wanting to be around your teammates. An athlete who gets singled out because of a high salary can certainly become disliked, leading to personality clashes in the locker room.Task cohesion refers to being able to work with each other. While there have been instances where there was great di sension on a team, such as Billy Martin's Yankeesin the 1970s, the breakdown of task cohesion can directly affect a team's performance. Once athletes stop working together on the court or field, not much good can come from the situation.If, therefore,the team climate is wrong, discrepancies in salaries can be disruptive and lead to individuals being le s satisfied with their current status on the team. An owner'sdecisions to paythe team's stars enough to keep themcan actually hurt the team'schances of succeeding.In the movie "Spiderman," Uncle Ben said, With great powercomes great responsibility." In profe sional sports Luis Aparicio Jersey , it can be said,"With large salariescome large responsibilities." Kevin L. Burke is a sport psychology profe sor and consultant at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. Contact him at kevinlburkeenterprises.com and follow him on Twitter: @SportPsyching.

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